Other names: Sloth, Coot
Latin name: Fulica atra
size: 32 - 42 cm
mass: 500 - 800 g
Older: 10 - 20 years
Appearance: black plumage, white beak
Sexual dimorphism: Yes
Nutrition type: Omnivore (omnivor)
food: Fish, insects, snails, crabs and clams
distribution: Europe, Asia, Australia, New Zealand
original origin: unknown
Sleep-wake rhythm: diurnal
habitat: Riparian zone on lakes and streams
natural enemies: Birds of prey
sexual maturity: 1 year
mating season: March April
breeding season: about 21 days
clutch size: 5 - 10 eggs
social behavior: Family Association
Threatened with extinction: No
Further profiles of animals can be found in the Encyclopaedia.
Interesting facts about the coot
- The coot, also called Sloth or Fulica atra, describes a waterbird within the Rallen, which is native to much of Europe and Asia, as well as Australia and New Zealand.
- In Europe it is almost everywhere with exceptions from Iceland and the northern regions of Scandinavia, avoiding high altitudes in the mountains.
- Depending on the area of distribution, they are either resident birds or migrate to their winter quarters in North Africa, the Mediterranean or the Middle East in autumn.
- The coot populates mainly stagnant or poorly flowing waters such as lakes, ponds of different sizes and side arms of rivers. Particularly important are a high nutrient content of the water and shallow riparian zones with dense plant growth.
- In the riparian zones, coots build their floating nests consisting of various plant material and twigs.
- The coot is unmistakable for its distinctive appearance. The plumage is dyed black, shimmers greenish with light and stands in stark contrast to the snow-white front plate, the white bill and the small, bright red or brown-red eyes.
- The coot reaches a length of up to 42 centimeters and has a small head and a relative to the body relatively short tail.
- It feeds on omnivores of plant parts such as grass, water lilies and reeds as well as on animal foods such as small fish, insects, snails, crabs and clams. Near human settlements, garbage and duck food are not spurned.
- The courtship season begins in March and is associated with fierce fighting for breeding grounds.
- Males and females join together to form monogamous couples and usually breed two eggs per season.
- In the nest, the female lays between five and ten, well-camouflaged eggs through the spotted surface, which are incubated by both parents for about three weeks.
- The chicks are hunted in the nest for only a few days and fed with food. Then they follow the parents and spend the first five weeks of life in the family.
- Although the young coots have become self-employed, they remain in the territory of the parents for some time.
- Most Coots breed only at the age of three, the first time, even though they are mature at the age of one year.
- A significant part of the young coots does not survive the first two years of life due to weather conditions. Many clutches are destroyed by water fluctuations or parasitic infestation.
- The maximum life expectancy of the Sloth is twenty years.